In a world that is constantly evolving, new challenges are arising. Pre existing solutions may not be a feasible option anymore. As a result, this can lead to higher demands for more innovative and creative means of solving problems. Reading Crichton and Carter’s (2017) Design Challenge approach was refreshing and inspirational. In my previous life as an instructor and educator, this approach further expanded my capacity to see what inquiry and problem-based learning in classrooms could look like. When adopting a design challenge approach “supported by making through a design thinking process”, it can result in learners being encouraged to discover problems and “prototype possible solutions” (Crichton and Carter, 2017).

Based on Crichton and Carter’s (2017) experience, they suggest that there are three primary ways to structure a design challenge: (1) As an inquiry question, (2) as a problem to be solved, and (3) as a scenario to play out. How can I transfer this valuable knowledge to my professional setting? I currently work at a professional association that provides policy and training support to municipal finance staff. Based on my current position, how can I receive support from my manager and colleagues to adopt a design challenge to discover ways to solve complex or wicked problems that in turn can better support our members’ operations (Crichton and Carter, 2017)? By adopting an empathetic design lens through a design challenge that is appropriately structured, we can alter how we view our members’ needs and create a larger impact when we engage with them. With the changing landscape that our local governments are experiencing, my organization can provide more enriching learning opportunities for members to expand their knowledge and expertise in a way that is conducive for continual growth.


Crichton, S. & Carter, D. (2017). Taking making into classrooms: A toolkit for fostering curiosity and imagination. Open School/ITA. Retrieved from